If you work in fashion or just like to keep ahead of the trends, then you know the lovely, charming, and always charismatic Glen Baxter. The former host of CTV’s In Fashion, Baxter has been one of the most renowned faces of the Canadian fashion scene for decades. On May 1st, Baxter will once again host the Right to Play Ball, a charitable event at the Shangri-La that includes open bar, delectable dishes, a silent auction, and a dance floor with comedian and DJ Russell Peters setting the tunes for the evening. Tickets are $175, and the unforgettable night comes complete with a charitable tax receipt. We caught up with Baxter to find out more about the not-to-be-missed event in support of children facing adversity, and his exciting life in fashion…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
My name is Glen Baxter. I’m a Montreal-born, Toronto-based bilingual broadcaster/journalist specializing in fashion, arts and design. I’ve worked as an on-air reporter/anchor at MuchMusic and CityTV, but I’m probably best-known as the host of CTV’s In Fashion, which was canceled a couple of years ago along with Fashion Television. I’m a serious traveler and photographer. Over the last 25 years, I’ve traveled extensively to over 50 countries with my camera, including Ethiopia, Benin, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Yemen, Myanmar (Burma), Mozambique, and Liberia. You can see some of my work at glenbaxter.ca.
How did you meet Johann Olav Koss, the founder of Right to Play?
I first met the Founder and CEO of Right To Play, Johann Koss, at one of my annual photo exhibitions held at the Hugo Boss showroom in Toronto. It was at the opening night party, so everyone was in good spirits. Johann is such a likeable, larger-than-life figure – a legendary Olympic speed skater from Norway, who now calls Toronto home. He dominated his sport and won four gold medals in the Winter Games!
How did you get involved in Right to Play?
I discovered Right To Play after returning from my first month-long trip to Burma 10 years ago. They had set up one of their programs in northern Thailand to aid refugee children near the Burmese border. I helped raise awareness and $15,000 for them with the sale of my photos that year, and I’ve been supporting them ever since.
Why is Right to Play so close to your heart?
Right To Play is close to my heart because they help kids – the most vulnerable in any society – in some of the most impoverished regions in the world. I’ve been fortunate to go on self-financed trips to see some of the work they’ve done in Benin, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Liberia, and Sandy Lake in Northern Ontario. They also employ locals on the ground as opposed to sending people from Canada to do the work they can do for themselves. And I’m proud that this much respected international humanitarian organization is based right here in Toronto.
Why did you start the Right to Play Ball?
I founded and started the Right To Play Ball in order to raise more money and awareness for this NGO, so they can continue to grow and improve more lives. One million kids every week benefit from Right To Play programs around the world!
How can people get involved in Right to Play?
The easiest way for your readers to get involved is to purchase a ticket and attend the Third Annual Right To Play Ball (tickets can be found at therighttoplayball.ca) on Thursday, May 1st featuring our Celebrity DJ, comedian Russell Peters! It’s an opportunity to meet and network with those involved with Right To Play, as well as talk to some of their athlete ambassadors like Rosie MacLennan and Joannie Rochette.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it offers its residents an enviable standard of living and quality of life, and because of its multiculturalism and diversity. Toronto keeps growing and evolving, which is also exciting to me!
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
My favourite drink is a double vodka on the rocks served at my new bar called WEST. I invested, with a couple of friends, in a newly designed upscale bar at 510 King West in Toronto. Drop by and tell them Glen sent you!
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
I was dressed exclusively by Hugo Boss for 20 years, but I also enjoy wearing Strellson, Van Gils and Ted Baker, which are available at Gotstyle.